Phase II study of sunitinib as second-line treatment for advanced gastric cancer

Yung Jue Bang, Yoon Koo Kang, Won K. Kang, Narikazu Boku, Hyun C. Chung, Jen Shi Chen, Toshihiko Doi, Yan Sun, Lin Shen, Shukui Qin, Wai Tong Ng, Jennifer M. Tursi, Maria J. Lechuga, Dongrui Ray Lu, Ana Ruiz-Garcia, Alberto Sobrero

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179 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This phase II, open-label, multicenter study assessed the oral, multitargeted, tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib in patients with advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma who had received prior chemotherapy. Experimental design. Patients received sunitinib 50 mg/day on Schedule 4/2 (4 weeks on treatment, followed by 2 weeks off treatment). The primary endpoint was objective response rate; secondary endpoints included clinical benefit rate, duration of response, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, safety and tolerability, and quality of life. Results: Of 78 patients enrolled, most had gastric adenocarcinoma (93.6%) and metastatic disease (93.6%). All were evaluable for safety and efficacy. Two patients (2.6%) had partial responses and 25 patients (32.1%) had a best response of stable disease for ≥6 weeks. Median PFS was 2.3 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6-2.6 months) and median OS was 6.8 months (95% CI, 4.4-9.6 months). Grade ≥3 thrombocytopenia and neutropenia were reported in 34.6% and 29.4% of patients, respectively, and the most common non-hematologic adverse events were fatigue, anorexia, nausea, diarrhea, and stomatitis. Pharmacokinetics of sunitinib and its active metabolite were consistent with previous reports. There were no marked associations between baseline soluble protein levels, or changes from baseline, and measures of clinical outcome. Conclusions: The progression-delaying effect and manageable toxicity observed with sunitinib in this study suggest that although single-agent sunitinib has insufficient clinical value as second-line treatment for advanced gastric cancer, its role in combination with chemotherapy merits further study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1449-1458
Number of pages10
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Editorial assistance was provided by Jenni Macdougall of ACUMED® (Tytherington, UK) and was funded by Pfizer Inc. The authors also acknowledge data analysis from Charles Harmon (an employee of Atrium Inc., and a paid consultant to Pfizer Inc.) and Zhixiao Wang (Outcomes Research, Pfizer Oncology, New York, NY, USA), and input and review of the manuscript from Richard Chao, Darrel Cohen, and Kristen Letrent (Pfizer Oncology, La Jolla, CA, USA, and New York, NY, USA). This trial was sponsored by Pfizer Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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